Kolkata flyover tragedy toll rises to 26

Kolkata, April 2 (IANS) The toll in Kolkata’s flyover tragedy has climbed to 26 after two more bodies were recovered from the debris on Saturday, police said.

“Two more bodies have been extricated from the rubble,” a police officer told IANS.

They have been kept at the Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, for post mortem.

Sixteen of the 67 rescued people were admitted in various hospitals, two days after the under-construction Vivekananda Road Flyover in north Kolkata’s market area Posta collapsed, crushing people and flattening vehicles.

About the reasons that caused the crash, the West Bengal government in a statement said: “It is apprehended that one cantilever pier no. 40 has shifted due to which two spans covering three piers were affected.”

Police have arrested three officials of the joint venture company — Hyderabad-based IVRCL Infrastructure — which was executing the flyover project.

Senior assistant general manager M. Mallikarjun, structural manager Pradip Kumar and assistant manager (administration) D. Majumdar were arrested on Friday after sustained questioning.

Earlier, police slapped stringent charges including murder against the company.

“The charges brought against the company include murder, attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy,” Joint Commissioner of Police Debashish Boral said.

A 23-member special investigation team (SIT) has been set up to probe the disaster. A police team is visiting company headquarters in Hyderabad to question its officials.

The chief engineer and an executive engineer of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA)- the state government unit in charge of the JNNURM project – have been placed under suspension.

The KMDA has ordered immediate inspection of the flyover to ascertain its safety and stability.

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